Links 5/18/09

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Keep working ‘to avoid dementia’ BBC. I do observe that older people who continue working (as in they like their work) seem to stay sharper and happier (but which way does the causality run?) And the cynic in me wonders if stories like this are to help reconcile most people to the fact that they will have to stay in the saddle longer than they planned.

Notes From Another Credit Card Crisis Suki Kim, New York Times

Newspapers No Longer Dominate Journalism Fellowships New York Times

Germany needs more than an accounting trick Wolfgang Munchau, Financial Times

S&P 500 Earnings Decline: 90% Barry Ritholrz (hat tip reader Dwight)

Chinese Banks Are Not Good Students Elite Chinese Politics and Political Economy (hat tip reader Michael)

A tale of two banking crises: Japan and Korea John Hempton

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Ulfilas

    Keep working to avoid dementia? This is akin to saying that people healthy people walk longer than those who are lame. Conclusion: you should walk longer. I suspect many who have the onset of dementia find that working becomes much more difficult at an earlier age that those of us who are fortunate enough not to have this problem.

  2. Harlem Dad

    I think Yves’ cynicism is well-placed regarding that article. But the science is valid.

    Keeping active mentally and physically is key to avoiding dementia. Continuing to do automatized office work that you’ve become very good at won’t help because your brain isn’t being challenged. Brain cells are like muscle cells. If you don’t use them, you lose them.

    The good news is that, again like muscle cells, if you _do_ use them, they will grow in size and number no matter how old you are.

    Taking up activities that get you out of your home, that cause you to think in new ways, and, especially, that cause you to interact socially will do more to prevent Alzheimer’s than working a desk-bound job.

    Jogging, bicycling, going to Museums, or University Lectures, going to school to learn something you have a passion for, really participating in these activities, will keep your brain and your body functioning in top condition

    See Cathryn Jakobson Ramin’s book, Carved in Sand: When Attention Fails and Memory Fades in Midlife.

    If you prefer to listen to books, as I do, it's available on

    I highly recommend this book.

    Tim in Sugar Hill

  3. epileptikitty

    True that about “automatized office work” – this is a fun little site with games that really do make me think with more facility –

    Sketching/painting also really keeps me smart.

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